What Is Tardive Dyskinesia?

Specialists sometimes prescribe neuroleptic drugs (anti-psychotics) for patients with psychiatric, gastrointestinal, or neurological disorders. Using these drugs for long periods of time can lead to a syndrome called tardive dyskinesia.

Tardive dyskinesia can appear as repetitive, purposeless movements that are not intentional.


Movements caused by tardive dyskinesia can include the following:

  • grimacing,
  • tongue protrusion,
  • lip smacking,
  • puckering and pursing,
  • rapid eye blinking,
  • rapid movement of the arms, legs and trunk, and 
  • involuntary finger movements.

These movements are not intentional by the patient but involuntary.

Tardive Dyskinesia Treatment

Treatment for tardive dyskinesia must be customized for each individual patient. Your specialist can help you develop a plan that suits your circumstances. This plan might involve no longer taking the neuroleptic drug or replacing it.

Our specialists in movement disorders can help you evaluate your symptoms and develop the best treatment plan for you.